Alfonso Font’s sci-fi anthology Tales of an Imperfect Future almost reads as if it shouldn’t belong in this century. It’s a mad mix of pulpy, post-apocalyptic tales that would be downright snug in any classic 1960s sci-fi comic strips or cult 1980s anime.
Tales of an Imperfect Future itself uses that post-apocalyptic theme as an anchor for it fourteen stories. One or two of stories share the same characters, and the whole lot may well exist in the same universe, but each story tells of a foreboding, disastrous future for mankind, and very often there’s a lot to laugh at in these mini-sagas.
That perverse use of humour adds to Tales of an Imperfect Future‘s appeal. Font, who writes and draws everything you read and see, clearly has a lot of fun letting his mind run loose in these pages, and fills the book with some delightfully rough, black-and-white illustrations that bring his short, simple yet engrossing depictions of our doomed future to life.
The stories themselves are nothing revolutionary, but many of them come with a pleasant twist-in-the-tale plot device, and cover a wide spectrum of possible futures we’ll carve out for ourselves, mostly revolving around a depleted Earth and our amusingly pathetic attempts at giving humanity another go on new planets. Or else we’re simply lost in space dealing with totally different disasters that all boil down to how inept we are as survivors.
Font puts all these pieces together in a charming, light-hearted way that still manages to pack some punch, particularly with his artwork. The black-and-white sketchiness may not sit well with everyone, but his attention to detail and depictions of emotions is sometimes breath-taking.
Tales of an Imperfect Future may not be all that hot in originality, but it’s still probably the best annual 2000AD never made.